Thursday, February 14, 2013


That’s what you women want right?  Well, Tammi is in luck, because I am full of them.  Stay-at-home dads have to be a little more emotionally functioning than the average sitcom would have you believe. How else will I show my kids how to live as fully-functional, emotional adults? 
I have four main emotions – happy, hungry, horny, and sleepy – usually only one at a time. Although sometimes I do go to sleep when I am hungry, but that is more of a laziness thing. 
So, yeah, Valentines’ Day is kind of my thing. 
Last year, I got her a card and some flowers.  I wrote on the card, “Feelings.”  This is deep emotional stuff people. 
The year prior I was running late getting home from work.  I stopped at the grocery, which was very busy.  I looked at the wall for about two seconds and grabbed the first card that looked humor based.  When I gave it to Tammi, she gave me a very large eye roll.
“Craig, how long did it take you to pick out this card?”
“Baby, I took a lot of time, picking out just the right message to convey my feelings for you.”
“Then why does the card say ‘to my loving husband’?”
No really. How am I supposed to show my kids to be fully-functional, emotionally-balanced adults?
Well I do know this.  Last weekend Tammi’s uncle visited us for a few days.  Everyone had a really fantastic time.  Well, except Tammi. She worked the whole weekend.  Both the boys, and Glenn in particular, really enjoyed spending time with him.  Hell, I even enjoyed hanging out with the guy and went so far as to have him over for poker night with my buddies.  When we had taken all his money, he left, and, immediately, all my friends commented on the fact that he seemed like such a nice guy.
When it was time for him to head home, I had prepped Glenn for his pending departure.  I picked him up from school, and let him know that one of his many “Papas” was leaving after he got home, and told him we had to say goodbye.
“I already knew that dad, but I am probably going to cry.”
“There is nothing wrong with that Glenn, and I would go so far as to say it is a good thing.”
When he did in fact start to fuss a bit, Tammi’s uncle told him that he was a big boy, and he shouldn’t cry.  Both of us immediately bristled.  If I could have started crying right then I would have out of sheer frustration.  Glenn is four, please don’t ever tell him not to cry. (Well I’m sure there are times you can tell him not to cry, but don’t distract me) If he can’t feel good about expressing his emotions at four, then when will he?  Rest assured, he already felt shame for being emotional and that makes me sad.
I don’t want either of my boys to grow up to be touchy-feely hippies. But JC, I want them to cry when a family member they love and probably won’t see for many, many months goes home. 
How do we possibly overcome the enormous emotional burden society and our own family members place on our young boys?  Especially when I set such a poor example, a fact I went into more detail about in, Looking Back to Move Forward.
Well if you are here for answers, you’ve come to the wrong place.  I do know this, I need more than four emotions, if this is going to work out, and I should probably brush up on my Valentines’ Day presents.
I love you baby, with more words than this keyboard can generate.  When I think of the type of people I want to raise, I think of you.  Thank you for five wonderful years (it is five, right?) and two wonderfully amazing boys.  Your chocolate is in the fridge.   

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